Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dry Bones: Europe on its Knees

‘Something rotten in the state of Denmark?’

Israel is measured by standards different from those the EU uses to judge itself.

Demonstrators burn an Israeli national flag during an anti-Israel protest.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. – William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4, 

Israel should insist that we discriminate [against it], that we apply double standards [to it], this is because you are one of us. – Jesper Vahr, Danish ambassador to Israel, at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on December 12 

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. – Albert Einstein 

Last Thursday, the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference took place in the capital with an impressive lineup of prominent public figures – including the present and the previous presidents and the US ambassador.

The real fireworks, however, took place in the panel discussion dealing with relations between the EU and Israel.

Ignorant buffoon or disingenuous bigot? 

The furor was set off by an inane remark by Denmark’s ambassador, Jesper Vahr, who in the space of a few short minutes managed to bring discredit to himself, his country and its diplomatic service, and to reveal himself to be either an ignorant buffoon or a disingenuous bigot.

I imagine some unkinder souls might hold that the two (buffoon and bigot) are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

In response to allegations that Israel was being treated unfairly by the EU, Vahr eagerly rushed to confirm them, and proffered a startling “rationale” (for want of a better word) for why Israel should warmly endorse this openly confessed European bias.

He declared: “There is the allegation that Europe is applying double standards, discriminating. Let make this point. I think Israel should insist that we discriminate [against] you; that we apply double standards.”

According to Vahr, Israel should embrace this undenied bias “because you are one of us.”

Referring to events in the other Mideast countries and the values they reflect, the Nordic envoy informed us that “those are not the standards that you are being judged by. It is not the standards that Israel would want to be judged by. So I think you have the right to insist that we apply double standards – put you on the same standard in the European context.”

Soft bigotry of low expectations 

In response to this barefaced display of European arrogance and blatant bigotry of low expectations, the discussion moderator, The Jerusalem Post’s Herb Keinon, asked, with perhaps more courtesy than was called for: “But isn’t it kind of patronizing to Palestinians to say we hold Israel to a higher standard than we hold you?” Vahr’s less-than-convincing reply was that Israel was the much stronger party in the conflict with the Palestinians and hence it was only natural that Europe engage “our long standing partner [Israel] in a different fashion than we engage others.”

This position is manifestly absurd – on a number of levels.

First, there seems no way to interpret it other than condoning weakness as a license – or at least, an excuse – for moral depravity, or at least moral inferiority, regardless of the merits of the case of the stronger party, or the lack thereof of the weaker party.

Infuriating hypocrisy 

In the case of Israel, this attitude is particularly infuriating and hypocritical.

For over the last two decades, Israel has made gut-wrenching concessions to the Palestinians. Invariably, the justification for these concessions has been presented as Israel’s overwhelming strength, which could be brought to bear, should those concessions be exploited against it by the Palestinians. Yet, when those concessions have been exploited, and Israel has been compelled to use its strength to redress the situation, it has been excoriated for the use of “disproportionate force” – despite the fact that it was precisely that very preponderance (i.e. “disproportionality”) of force that was invoked as the reason for making the concessions in the first place.

Perversely, instead of Israel’s strength being a restraint against Palestinians excesses, it is presented as the justification for tolerating those excesses.

But the self-righteous hypocrisy goes even deeper.

Instead of what one might have expected, i.e. that an allegedly like-minded Europe would rally round Israel, as one of its own, besieged by a sea of animosity, Europe is mobilizing to impose the will of Israel’s tyrannical, Judeophobic foes on it – despite the fact that their societies reflect the diametric negation of values the EU purports to cherish.

Rather than trying to propagate the values it claims to represent, Europe is blatantly threatening to advance their negation. Instead of supporting those who uphold common values, Europe is threatening to beleaguer those who do.

Impudence and arrogance 

But beyond the hypocrisy, European censure of Israel radiates a misplaced impudence and arrogance.

As Nathan Gelbart, head of Keren Hayesod Germany, who also participated in the discussion, remarked: It is easy for us Europeans to give Israel advice, having neighbors like Belgium, Luxembourg and San Merino...

or even Denmark.

As painfully obvious as this might seem, its significance is lost on many. After all, for Israel, it is not only a matter of being judged by a divergent set of values, not applied to its adversarial neighbors. It is also a matter of being subjected to the divergent values of those adversaries.

But fairness and decency require Israel’s responses not only be judged by the values expected of it, but in view of the values of its adversaries, to which it is subjected and with which it has to contend to ensure its security and survival.

Policies that may well be appropriate/effective in contending with adversaries who share “European values” may well be hopelessly – even, perilously – inappropriate/ ineffective in contending with adversaries who do not.

In this regard, Western democracies have allowed themselves far more moral latitude than they apparently deem appropriate for the Jewish state – even when they have been called upon to contend with threats far more remote and far less menacing to their survival/ security than Israel is facing. But more on that in a moment.

Not a double, but a singular, Israel-only, standard Ambassador Vahr’s remarks elicited a robust response from my colleague, the Post’s Caroline Glick.

With an understandable burst of righteous rage, she resoundingly rebutted the ill-conceived concoction of allegations-cum-clarifications-cum-apologetics the hapless Danish envoy offered as the European position on the conflict.

But perhaps the most telling point she made was that Israel was not being judged by double standards, but by a singular standard that no other nation on the planet is expected to live up to.

The point is not that Israel is being judged by criteria different to those applied to the gory tyrannies that abound in the region, it is that Israel is being judged by standards different to those that Western democracies, and the EU, judge themselves.

No other nation on earth is called on to show such understanding for its sworn enemies, to display such largesse toward the demands of those openly dedicated to its destruction, to exercise such restraint against those overtly committed to its demise, to expose it children to such risk to satisfy the will of foes who, time after time, have proven they cannot be trusted...

Holding Israel to such standards is not holding it to double standards, but, as Glick correctly points out, to a singular – Jews-only – standard.

Stone throwing residents of glass houses? 

After all, Israel has been harshly condemned for inflicting undue civilian casualties, the use of “disproportionate force,” the quarantine of Gaza, the interception of vessels such as the Mavi Marmara.

However, even setting aside for the massive destruction inflicted on the civilian populations of the Axis powers by the Allies in WWII, there seems little room for the West to sanctimoniously pontificate to Israel.

Indeed, in recent decades, the West, including nations comprising NATO, has responded militarily to situations in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq far more harshly than Israel has, even when the threat to its own domestic populations has been far less tangible than that menacing Israeli civilians.

Yet, although the forces of Western democracies have, in far-flung theaters, thousands of kilometers, from their homelands, inflicted vast numbers of civilian casualties, engaged in massively disproportional responses, imposed far more punishing embargoes, conducted far more “non-compliant boardings” of vessels in international waters, they have never been subject to the same degree of censure – and certainly not been threatened with sanctions – as Israel has.

It seems it is only the Jews who are called upon to adhere to standards and impose constraints on their freedom to defend themselves that are far more stringent than those observed, not by the brutal regimes of the Mideast, but by the liberal “European-compliant” regimes of the West.

NATO in the Balkans During early 1999, in the Balkans, in just under 80 days of intensive, high-altitude – some would say, indiscriminate, but certainly imprecise – bombing by NATO forces, including the use of cluster bombs, inflicted hundreds of civilian Serbian casualties. Serbian estimates are 2,500 dead. NATO bombs hit hospitals, old-age homes, market places, schools, passenger trains on bridges, buses cut in half while crossing ravines, and convoys of fleeing refugees – all this in a military campaign during which not one single civilian in a single NATO nation was ever threatened by Serbian action.

When questioned on the issue of civilian casualties, then-NATO spokesman Jamie Shea stated: “There is always a cost to defeat an evil. It never comes free, unfortunately. But the cost of failure to defeat a great evil is far higher.” Sounding like a carbon copy of IDF spokespeople explaining Israeli action in Gaza, he insisted that NATO planes bombed only “legitimate designated military targets”; and if civilians died it was because NATO had been forced into military action.

Adamant that “we try to do our utmost to ensure that if there are civilians around, we do not attack,” Shea, emphasized that “NATO does not target civilians... let’s be perfectly clear about that.”

In contrast to the thousands of civilians killed or wounded, the hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced and the tens of thousands civilian homes destroyed, there were fewer than 700 deaths reported among Serbian military personal. No NATO combat casualties were reported.

Disproportionality anyone? 

‘More children than died in Hiroshima’ 

In Afghanistan, where military action was undertaken in 2001, in response to a single terrorist attack, on a single NATO member, precise estimates of civilian deaths are difficult to come by. Most assessments, however, put civilian deaths at more than 20,000.

To give a sense of comparative “proportionality” of responses, relative to Israel’s population size, the number of fatalities incurred by the US in the 9/11 attacks would be barely equivalent to fatalities Israel incurred in two of the almost 200 suicide attacks it suffered in the bloody days of the 2000-2005 second intifada.

In Iraq, the number of recorded civilian deaths since the 2003-invasion due to direct war-related violence is approaching 150,000, in a military campaign which was launched without any overt aggression being directed against the US or its citizens.

But prior to the 2003 armed strike against Saddam Hussein, a crippling US-led UN embargo was enforced against Iraq – far more destructive than the quarantine placed on the terrorist enclave of Gaza. To gauge the devastating effect this had on Iraqi civilians, consider the following chilling extract from a Leslie Stahl interview on 60 Minutes (May 12, 1996) with Madeleine Albright, then-US ambassador to the UN, later secretary of state in the Clinton administration, on the effect the sanctions were having on the Iraqi population: Stahl: “We have heard that a half-million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima.... Is the price worth it?” Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but... we think the price is worth it.”

Now imagine if an Israeli politician had displayed such callousness...

Breaking news – Hamas off terror list 

As I was composing this column, news came in that the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg had accepted a petition by Hamas to have itself removed from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations.

In light of this, how lame the words of Italian ambassador to Israel, Francesco Maria Talo, seem, when toward the end of the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference debate, he appealed: “Please don’t say we are helping terrorists. We want to avoid... help[ing] terrorists, there are rules within our countries to avoid this so we are sticking to international law.”

Really, Mr. Ambassador?

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.


I think that Jesper Vahr, the Danish ambassador to Israel, should proclaim himself persona non grata and leave.  Although Copenhagen did not recall him, for all practical purposes his usefulness as a diplomatic envoy has come to an end.   

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Shame on the EU!

By recognizing ‘in principle’ the Palestinian state where Hamas is in the unity government, the EU 'in principle' condones the killing of Jews.

 Hamas CharterArticle 7:

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Article 7 of the Hamas Charter is taken from  Hadith Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.

Is Europe stupid? Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks!

EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list

 A top court of the European Union has annulled the bloc's decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on a list of terrorist groups.
The decision had been based not on an examination of Hamas' actions, but on "factual imputations derived from the press and the internet",judges found.
The court said the move was technical and was not a reassessment of Hamas' classification as a terrorist group.
It said a funding freeze on the group would continue for the time being.
Hamas dominates Gaza and fought a 50-day war with Israel in the summer. Under its charter, the movement is committed to Israel's destruction.
Responding to the ruling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas was a "murderous terrorist" group which should be put back on the list immediately.
Israel, the United States and several other nations have designated Hamas a terrorist organisation due to its long record of attacks and its refusal to renounce violence.
Hamas, which was founded in 1987, won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006 and reinforced its power in Gaza the following year after ousting its Fatah rivals.
Its supporters see it as a legitimate resistance movement against Israel, with whom it has fought for years.
In December 2001, the Council of the European Union - representing the governments of member states - adopted a "common position" and a regulation to combat terrorism.
It established a list of designated entities and people whose funds would be frozen. Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, was named on the initial list, and its political wing was added two years later.
Hamas contested the decision and on Wednesday the EU's General Court found it had been "based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet".
The court said it was therefore annulling Hamas' designation but would temporarily keep existing measures against the group "in order to ensure the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of funds".
This would be maintained for three months, or, if an appeal is brought before the European Court of Justice, until it was closed, it added.
"The court stresses that those annulments, on fundamental procedural grounds, do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of Hamas as a terrorist group within the meaning of the common position."
Hamas' lawyer, Liliane Glock, said she was "satisfied with the decision".
"Every decision since 2001 imposing restrictive measures, including on the armed wing, have been annulled. I believe that this judgement shows the whole world that it exists and is legal," she told the AFP news agency.
The Israeli prime minister said he expected the Council of the European Union to "immediately put Hamas back on the list".
"Hamas is a murderous terrorist organisation which in its charter states its goal is to destroy Israel," he added in a statement.

The ruling comes hours before the European Parliament is expected to vote on recognition of Palestinian statehood, after the parliaments of several member states took a similar step.

Op-Ed: Are You Stupid?

Paula R. Stern
Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 6:17 PM

"If we find that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are indeed terror groups opposed to peace, we may have to change the EU's stand. However, we must not limit ourselves to one, clear cut, position." ? Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Advisor to French President Jacques Chirac (August 25, 2003)

I could not possibly have read this statement correctly, I thought to myself the first time I read it. So, I read it again. After the fifteenth time, I finally had to admit that I was really reading these words. What do you mean, you "may have to" change the EU's stand? "May have to"?

How many deaths does it take to understand that Hamas is a terrorist organization? What ages must their victims be, what sex, what nationality? If you will not believe the Israelis, Mr. Gourdault-Mondagne, perhaps you would believe the Hamas themselves. 

Below is a very partial list of terror attacks for which
Hamas claimed responsibility. From their own mouths, they brand themselves the murderers of infants, children of all ages, pregnant women, old men and women. They have murdered hundreds, orphaned and maimed thousands more. 

After reading the list, I can think of only two possible reasons that France and the European Union would not immediately freeze Hamas? assets and publicly label them as the terrorist organization they show themselves to be. One reason would be that the vast majority of Hamas? victims are Jews, and clearly history has shown that Europe?s reaction to the murder of Jews is tainted by its inherent anti-Semitism. The second reason can only be utter stupidity. Your choice, Mr. Gourdault-Mondagne.

Read the list below and then I hope, given the ?clear cut? evidence, you will agree that it is time to ?change the EU?s stand.? 

* On August 19, 2003, twenty-one people were killed and over 130 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus in Jerusalem.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah all claimed responsibility. The victims: Goldie Taubenfeld, 43, the mother of 13, and her son Shmuel, 5 months, of the US; Lilach Kardi, 22, who was in the ninth month of pregnancy; Yaakov Binder, 50; Shalom Mordechai Reinitz, 49, and his son, Yissaschar Dov, 9; Elisheva Meshulami, 16; Rabbi Chanoch Segal, 65; Menachem Leibel, 24; Shmuel Zargari, 11 months old; Rabbi Eliezer Weisfish, 42; Miriam Eisenstein, 20; Chava Rechnitzer, 19; Rabbi Shmuel Volner, 50; Binyamin Bergman, 15; Liba Schwartz, 57; Avraham Bar-Or, 12; Faige Dushinsky, 50; Tehila Nathanson, 3; Rachel Weiss, 70; Marie Antonia, 39, of the Philippines.

* On August 12, 2003, Erez Hershkovitz, 18, was murdered at a bus stop outside Ariel when a Palestinian suicide bomber, 17, detonated himself. Three others were seriously wounded in the attack, which
was claimed by Hamas. 

* On June 20, 2003, gunmen opened fire on a passing car, killing Tsvi Goldstein, 47, and wounding his wife and parents on their way to join their son, who had been married the night before.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Mar 7, 2003, Rabbi Eli Horowitz, 52, and his wife Dina, 50, were killed and five wounded by armed terrorists disguised as Jewish worshipers, while they were celebrating the Sabbath.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Mar 5, 2003, sixteen people were killed and 55 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus en route to Haifa University.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Nov 21, 2002, eleven people were killed and some 50 wounded by a suicide bomber on a bus in Jerusalem. The bus was filled with passengers, including schoolchildren, traveling toward the center of the city during rush hour.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Hodaya Asraf, 13; Marina Bazarski, 46; Hadassah (Yelena) Ben-David, 32; Sima Novak, 56; Kira Perlman, 67, and her grandson Ilan Perlman, 8; Yafit Ravivo, 14; Ella Sharshevsky, 44, and her son Michael Sharshevsky, 16; Mircea Varga, 25, a tourist from Romania; Dikla Zino, 22. 

* On Nov 6, 2002, Assaf Tzfira, 18, and Amos Sa'ada, 52, were killed when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire in a hothouse and textile factory at Pe'at Sadeh. The terrorist was killed by a security officer.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Oct 10, 2002, Sa'ada Aharon, 71, was killed and about 30 people were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up while trying to board a bus across from Bar-Ilan University.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Sept 19, 2002, Solomon Hoenig, 79, Yossi Mamistavlov, 39, Yaffa Shemtov, 49, Rosanna Siso, 63, Ofer Zinger, 29, and Jonathan (Yoni) Jesner, 19, of Glasgow, Scotland, were killed and about 70 people were wounded when a terrorist detonated a bomb in a Tel-Aviv bus.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Aug 4, 2002, nine people were killed and some 50 wounded in a suicide bombing of a bus traveling from Haifa to Safed. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Mordechai Yehuda Friedman, 24; Sari Goldstein, 21; Maysoun Amin Hassan, 19; Marlene Menahem, 22; Sgt.-Maj. Roni Ghanem, 28; Sgt. Yifat Gavrieli, 19; Sgt. Omri Goldin, 20; Adelina Kononen, 37, of the Philippines; Rebecca Roga, 40, of the Philippines. 

* On July 31, 2002, nine people, four Israelis and five foreign nationals, were killed and 85 injured, 14 of them seriously, when a bomb exploded in a cafeteria on the Hebrew University's Mt. Scopus campus.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: David Diego Ladowski, 29; Levina Shapira, 53; Marla Bennett, 24, of California (US); Benjamin Blutstein, 25, of Pennsylvania (US); Dina Carter, 37, (US); Janis Ruth Coulter, 36, of Massachusetts (US); David Gritz, 24, (US-France). Daphna Spruch, 61, died of her wounds on August 10. Revital Barashi, 30, died of her wounds on August 13.

* On June 18, 2002, 19 people were killed and 74 were injured, six seriously, in a suicide bombing at the Patt junction in Egged bus no. 32A. The bus, which was completely destroyed, was carrying many students on their way to school. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Boaz Aluf, 54; Shani Avi-Zedek, 15; Leah Baruch, 59; Mendel Bereson, 72; Rafael Berger, 28; Michal Biazi, 24; Tatiana Braslavsky, 41; Galila Bugala, 11; Raisa Dikstein, 67; Dr. Moshe Gottlieb, 70; Baruch Gruani, 60; Orit Hayla, 21; Helena Ivan, 63; Iman Kabha, 26; Shiri Negari, 21; Gila Nakav, 55; Yelena Plagov, 42; Liat Yagen, 24; Rahamim Zidkiyahu, 51.

* On June 8, 2002, Eyal Sorek, 23, his wife Yael, 24, 9 months pregnant, and Shalom Mordechai, 35, of Nahariya were killed and five others injured when terrorists infiltrated the community of Carmei Tzur and opened fire at 2:30am on Friday night.
The Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On May 19, 2002, Yosef Haviv, 70, Victor Tatrinov, 63, and Arkady Vieselman, 40, all , were killed and 59 people were injured, 10 seriously, when a suicide bomber, disguised as a soldier, blew himself up in the market in Netanya.
Both Hamas and the PFLP took responsibility for the attack. 

* On May 7, 2002, 15 people were killed and 55 wounded in a crowded game club in Rishon Lezion by a suicide bomber.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Apr 27, 2002, Danielle Shefi, 5, Arik Becker, 22, Katrina (Katya) Greenberg, 45, and Ya'acov Katz, 51, were killed when terrorists dressedin IDF uniforms and combat gear entered Adora. Seven other people were injured, one seriously.
Both Hamas and the PFLP claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Mar 31, 2002, 15 people were killed and over 40 injured in a suicide bombing in Haifa, in the Matza restaurant of the gas station near the Grand Canyon shopping mall.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Suheil Adawi, 32; Dov Chernobroda, 67; Shimon Koren, 55; his sons Ran, 18, and Gal, 15; Moshe Levin, 52; Danielle Manchell, 22; Orly Ofir, 16; Aviel Ron, 54; his son Ofer, 18, and daughter Anat, 21; Ya'akov Shani, 53; Adi Shiran, 17; Daniel Carlos Wegman, 50. Carlos Yerushalmi, 52.

* On Mar 28, 2002, Rachel and David Gavish, 50, their son Avraham Gavish, 20, and Rachel's father Yitzhak Kanner, 83, were killed when a terrorist infiltrated the community of Elon Moreh in Samaria, entered their home and opened fire on its inhabitants.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
* On Mar 27, 2002, 29 people were killed and 140 injured, 20 seriously, in a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in the coastal city during the Passover holiday seder. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. The victims: Shula Abramovitch, 63; David Anichovitch, 70; Sgt.-Maj. Avraham Beckerman, 25; Shimon Ben-Aroya, 42; Andre Fried, 47; Idit Fried, 47; Miriam Gutenzgan, 82; Ami Hamami, 44; Perla Hermele, 79, of Sweden; Dvora Karim, 73; Michael Karim, 78; Yehudit Korman, 70; Marianne Myriam Lehmann Zaoui, 77; Lola Levkovitch, 85; Furuk Na'imi, 62; Eliahu Nakash, 85; Irit Rashel, 45; Yulia Talmi, 87; St.-Sgt. Sivan Vider, 20; Ernest Weiss, 79; Eva Weiss, 75; Meir (George) Yakobovitch, 76; Chanah Rogan, 92; Zee'v Vider, 50; Alter Britvich, 88, and his wife Frieda, 86; Sarah Levy-Hoffman, 89; Anna Yakobovitch, 78; and Eliezer Korman. 

 * On Mar 9, 2002, Limor Ben-Shoham, 27, Nir Borochov, 22, Danit Dagan, 25, Livnat Dvash, 28, Tali Eliyahu, 26, Uri Felix, 25, Dan Imani, 23, Natanel Kochavi, 31, Baruch Lerner, 29, Orit Ozerov, 28, Avraham Haim Rahamim, 28, were killed and 54 injured, 10 of them seriously, by a suicide bomber in a crowded cafe in Jerusalem. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Feb 6, 2002, Miri Ohana, 45, and her daughter Yael, 11, were murdered in their home when an armed terrorist infiltrated Moshav Hamra. IDF reserve soldier, St.-Sgt. Maj.(res.) Moshe Majos Meconen, 33, was also killed in the attack. The terrorist entered the Ohana home disguised in IDF uniform. Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility. 

* On Dec 12, 2001, Yair Amar, 13, Esther Avraham, 42, Border Police Chief Warrant Officer Yoel Bienenfeld, 35, Moshe Gutman, 40, Avraham Nahman Nitzani, 17, Yirmiyahu Salem, 48, Israel Sternberg, 46, David Tzarfati, 38, Hananya Tzarfati, 32, Ya'akov Tzarfati, 64, were killed when three terrorists attacked a bus and several passenger cars with a roadside bomb, anti-tank grenades and light arms fire near the entrance to Emmanuel. About 30 others were injured. Haim Chiprot, 52, died of his wounds on March 25, 2002.
Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Dec 2, 2001, Tatiana Borovik, 23, Mara Fishman, 51, Ina Frenkel, 60, Riki Hadad, 30, Ronen Kahalon, 30, Samion Kalik, 64, Mark Khotimliansky, 75, Cecilia Kozamin, 76, Yelena Lomakin, 62, Rosaria Reyes, 42, of the Philippines, Yitzhak Ringel, 41, Rassim Safulin, 78, Leah Strick, 73, Faina Zabiogailu, 64, Mikhail Zaraisky, 71, were killed and 40 injured in a suicide bombing on an bus in Haifa.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Dec 1, 2001, Assaf Avitan, 15, Michael Moshe Dahan, 21, Israel Ya'akov Danino, 17, Yosef El-Ezra, 18, Sgt. Nir Haftzadi, 19, Yuri (Yoni) Korganov, 20, Golan Turgeman, 15, Guy Vaknin, 19, Adam Weinstein, 14, and Moshe Yedid-Levy, 19, were killed and about 180 injured by two suicide bombers in Jerusalem. Ido Cohen, 17, died of his wounds on December 8. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

* On Aug 9, 2001, Giora Balash, 60, of Brazil, Zvika Golombek, 26, Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, 31, of the U.S., Tehila Maoz, 18, Frieda Mendelsohn, 62, Michal Raziel, 16, Malka Roth, 15, Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43, Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41, Ra'aya Schijveschuurder, 14, Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4, Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2, Lily Shimashvili, 33, Tamara Shimashvili, 8, and Yocheved Shoshan, 10, were killed and about 130 injured in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
* On May 18, 2001, Tirza Polonsky, 66, Miriam Waxman, 51, David Yarkoni, 53, Yulia Tratiakova, 21, and Vladislav Sorokin, 34, were killed in a suicide bombing in Netanya, in which over 100 were wounded. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

* On Mar 28, 2001, Eliran Rosenberg-Zayat, 15, and Naftali Lanzkorn, 13, were killed in a suicide bombing at the Mifgash Hashalom ("peace stop") gas station near the entrance to Kalkilya. Four people were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Hamas is a terrorist organization. What, are you stupid?


And let's not forget what Hamas stands for:

Hamas CharterArticle 7:

"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Article 7 of the Hamas Charter is taken from  Hadith Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him

Friday, December 12, 2014

Caroline Glick puts the Danish ambassador in his place

Something has changed in Israel. I guess the hypocrisy displayed by some US diplomats and most European ones is just too much to swallow. A few days ago it was Naftali Bennett at Saban and now here is Caroline Glick at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference calling a spade a spade.  Quite refreshing, I must admit.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bennett to Indyk: The reality you have been pushing since Oslo is not working and Martin Sherman's analysis

Into the Fray: Bennett at Saban: What he should – and shouldn’t – have said


Naftali Bennett gave a spirited performance at the recent Saban Forum, but was far more convincing on what should not be done, than on what should be done.

You know, I just think you live in another reality. It’s what Steve Jobs called distorted reality thinking. 
 Martin Indyk to Naftali Bennett, at the 2014 Saban Forum.

How many missiles need to fall on Ashkelon until you’ll wake up? How many? How many people need to die in our country until you wake up from this illusion? 
 Naftali Bennett to Martin Indyk, at the 2014 Saban Forum.

Last weekend, the 11th annual Saban Forum convened in Washington, with its usual bevy of high-profile participants, to discuss the developments in the Middle East, Israel-US relations and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Hardly hospitable milieu 

Funded by Democratic benefactor Haim Saban, and hosted by the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution, the tenor of the Forum is usually left-wing on Mideast affairs, with a strong bent in favor of the two-state principle and the land-for-peace doctrine.

This year’s lineup included former US secretary of state for the Obama administration Hillary Clinton; the current US Secretary of State for the Obama administration, John Kerry; Labor Party head Isaac “Bugie” Herzog; Martin Indyk, Brookings vice president, until recently Kerry’s special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations; and Jeffrey Goldberg, the Obama-philic columnist seen widely as a mouth piece for the White House.

Clearly the Forum was hardly the most hospitable milieu for someone like Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, generally considered one of most hawkish/right-wing members of the government. As Bennett quipped, if he conducted “a poll here, probably Zehava Gal-On [head of the far-left Meretz party] would be prime minister and maybe Tzipi Livni No. 2.”

The disparity between Bennett and the overall ambiance of the Forum was highlighted by the fact that his participation in the event comprised a lengthy “conversation” (“confrontation” might be more appropriate) with the Saban Center’s Indyk.

In early May, Indyk, whose views on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and ways to solve it are wildly incompatible with those of Bennett, accused proponents of settlements within the government (who clearly include Bennett and his Bayit Yehudi party) of “sabotaging” the negotiations he (Indyk) was charged with conducting.

A spirited performance 

It was in this clearly confrontational environment that Bennett was called upon to articulate his views on how Israel should chart its future.

To his credit, he gave a spirited performance, deftly parrying and resolutely rebutting most of Indyk’s adversarial jibes. He conducted himself with confidence, assertively countering and contradicting many of his interlocutor’s claims. Bennett did well in exposing the grave, counterproductive defects of the land-for-peace doctrine, the disastrous consequences it has had in the past, and will have in the future if pursued any further.

He remained unintimidated by threats of demographic disaster and economic sanctions. He pointed out that the demographic statistics are far less daunting than commonly touted, enumerated the great contributions Israeli ingenuity and innovation has made to humanity and why it is a sought after partner economically, despite the unresolved conflict with the Palestinians.

Bennett’s defiant demeanor in his rejection of conventional wisdom regarding the Israeli-Palestinian impasse was a welcome and refreshing change compared to the mealy-mouthed ambiguity and demeaning self-recrimination we have become accustomed to from many Israeli politicians. He made the telling point that by paying lip service to the unrealistic, and unattainable, two-state principle, Israel is undermining its own credibility – since it is unable to undertake measures, on the one hand, and unable to refrain from measures, on the other, to make its implementation feasible. In this regard he, correctly, observed: “... we’re in the pit we’re in precisely because we’re inconsistent.”

Ascending force in Israeli politics 

Judging from the approving responses received from several right-wing pundits – and from the dismay of detractors – Bennett’s appearance is likely to enhance his electoral potential in the coming election.

Bennett and his Bayit Yehudi party are a distinctly ascendant force in Israeli politics. However, it is precisely because of his growing influence that Bennett’s political proclamations need to be carefully scrutinized and his political prescriptions critically examined for any inconsistencies of the kind he correctly identifies in the two-state/land-forpeace proposal.

After all if the Israeli Right is to produce a cogent and convincing alternative to the dominant two-state paradigm (or its default option of an un-Jewish one-state-of-all-itscitizens), it must be thoroughly thought through, and the consequences of its implementation realistically assessed.

This is essential if it is to avoid being entangled in the selfsame contradictions between lip service to ideas that are either unattainable in the short run, or unsustainable in the long run, and the measures required to implement them.

Defects and omissions 

In this regard, I have in the past expressed my grave reservations as to some of the ideas Bennett raised in his Saban Forum “conversation,” which if adopted will almost certainly lead Israel into a perilous cul-de-sac, attenuating little, if any, of the dangers entailed in present proposals and, in fact, exacerbating many of them.

I cannot provide a detailed critique of the entire Bennett- Indyk exchange (almost 15,000 words). However, I should like to touch on some major defects and omissions in Bennett’s policy proposal – on some of the things that should not be said, and some which should be, but were not.

Bennett’s blueprint involves basically four elements which he set out in a November New York Times op-ed titled “For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution.” Indyk summarized them: “... upgrading Palestinian autonomy; upgrading the infrastructure in the West Bank; upgrading economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority; and the kicker, annexing Area C while offering the Palestinians in Area C [Israeli] citizenship.”

Sadly, none of these elements – neither on their own nor in combination – can contribute toward long-term stability in Israel’s relations with the Palestinians, or diminish any of Israel’s current security problems and diplomatic predicaments.

Same political pain 

As the response from Indyk and the Forum’s sponsor Haim Saban indicated, the political pain in terms of international sanctions and censure involved in the annexation of Area C alone will almost certainly be no less than that involved in annexing the entire area of Judea-Samaria – i.e. including Area A and B.

True, Bennett did admit that he could not implement his plan immediately: “I’m not tomorrow going to annex Area C. It might take 20 years, it might take 40 years.”

True, he did acknowledge that he was “not suggesting that... one day... we just do that. There’s a process of changing the global view... And it takes time. It’s an uphill battle.”

I, of course, strongly endorse the view that Israel needs to dramatically upgrade its public diplomacy efforts across the world, and to invest massively in changing international perceptions of the conflict. However, I am at a loss as to how it would successfully promote a Bennett- like prescription, no matter how great the connecting highways and available infrastructure. For, after 20 to 40 years, all it envisages for 90 percent of the Arab residents of Judea-Samaria is being confined to 40% of the area, scattered across a myriad of disconnected enclaves and corridors, in a state of unenfranchised, open-ended stateless political suspension.

But more on that a little later

Dubious demographics 

Much of the rationale of Bennett’s proposal hinges on the prevailing demographic distribution and the relatively small (about 100,000) Arab population, resident in Area C, to whom he suggests offering Israeli citizenship – in order to obviate any allegations of “apartheid.”

However, unless Israel can demarcate and secure the borders of Area C, there will be no way of preventing massive migration from Areas A and B into Area C. As I have been at pains to underscore in the past, a cursory glance at a map of Area C will quickly bring home the implausibility of such a task – made even more insurmountable by the fact that Bennett is on record as recommending the abolition of roadblocks, and endorsing total freedom of movement for the Arab residents of Judea-Samaria.

This, of course, will dramatically disrupt the optimistic demographic balance in Area C, particularly if the process is seen as being drawn out over decades, even if (perhaps, especially if) the “intruders” are precluded from being given Israeli citizenship.

For as I have frequently pointed out, it is not only electoral arithmetic that will determine the realities of life in the country, but the sociocultural fabric of the population, which to a great degree will be determined by the presence of a large Arab population, enfranchised or otherwise.

Governance of Areas B & C 

Extending Israeli sovereignty to Area C begs the question of who will govern the remaining Areas A & B.

It is highly implausible that any Palestinian individual or entity of adequate authority will agree to take responsibility for the governance of these areas following an Israeli annexation of Area C (comprising 60% of Judea-Samaria).

For this would inevitably be construed as traitorous acknowledgment of the Israeli annexation and its implicit acceptance.

But even in the unlikely event that some yet-to-be-identified Palestinian could be found, pliable enough to swallow Israeli annexation of most of Judea-Samaria, Bennett’s formula for enhanced autonomy of the Palestinian-Arabs in Areas A and B still appears highly problematic.

So when he declares: “I don’t want to govern them...

I don’t want to take care of their schools. They’re doing their own job there,” is he really endorsing the wild Judeophic incitement in the current curricula? Does he see this as part of the long-term arrangement with the Palestinians, or does he in fact want to interfere in the formulation of what is taught in their schools? The same can be said for the management of shared water resources, sewage treatment and other pollutants, control of contagious diseases, roadworthiness of vehicles on “shared highways”...

No, extended autonomy has always been a pipe dream and a prescription for further friction.

The gravest error 

Perhaps the gravest error in Bennett’s approach is his suggestion that by enhancing the standard of living of the Palestinian Arabs, he will somehow diminish the tension and hostility toward Israel.

It is difficult to overstate how unfounded – and counterproductive – this contention is. Sadly, I do not have enough space to elaborate on why this is so, but perhaps the best way to illustrate why enhanced affluence will not induce enhanced tranquility is to quote Bennett himself in responding to Indyk. He – correctly – remarked: “What we’re seeing in the Muslim world is very affluent Muslims... who are going to ISIS and cutting off heads...”

Indeed, they are.

The entire concept that Israel has any practical interest or moral obligation to support or promote the Palestinian economy is totally without foundation – either ethical or pragmatic.

Indeed, Israel should be doing precisely the opposite.

On the one hand, it should create strong disincentives for Palestinian-Arabs to stay, by letting the unsustainable Palestinian economy implode under the weight of its pervasive corruption and bloated bureaucracy. On the other hand, it should provide strong incentives for them to leave, by offering individual Palestinians generous relocation grants to extricate themselves from the sorry fate their failed “leadership” has brought them.

Call the enemy the enemy 

Bennett’s Saban Forum performance was far more convincing on what should not be done, than on what should be done; on what must be avoided, than on what must be undertaken.

Perhaps his major failing can be traced to his reluctance, common to nearly all Israeli political leaders, to designate the Palestinian-Arab collective as what it really is – and what they designate themselves: the enemy – implacable and obdurate.

This reticence is perhaps rooted in a desire to mollify Western audiences. It is, however, entirely misplaced and results repeatedly in unrealistic Israeli policy proposals, which assume that somehow, the Palestinians-Arabs will become either future peace partners, or loyal (at least, docile) residents/citizens under benign Jewish rule.

If Bennett is to become an effective leader who can steer the nation to a secure future, this is a reticence he must shed.

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies


And my comment:

My letter to the Jerusalem Post  from May 26, 2009

The case for strength

Sir, - Both your May 22 editorial "The week that was" ("Israel needs to ensure that it does not allow itself to be depicted as the obstacle to peace") and Caroline Glick's "Netanyahu's peace plan" (same date), which defined Netanyahu's greatest challenges in office as "prevent(ing) Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons while preventing the Obama administration from blaming Israel for the absence of peace," assume that peace is possible.

Is this assumption based on reality? Yes, but not the way the Koran defines peace, which is submission by all to Muslim rule. So we need peace defined in a way which would fit both sides.

Does such a way exist? Yes.

Muslims are permitted not to wage jihad if the infidel side is perceived as too strong, in which case 10 years of hudna or cease-fire is permitted, after which the conditions for jihad are reevaluated.

The best we can therefore hope for, until these concepts are rendered obsolete by Muslims themselves, is a perpetual state of back-to-back, 10-year-long hudnas.

Clearly, amid such a reality, Israel's strength would not be perceived as an obstacle to peace, but as the only viable solution.